The Haunting of Julia (1977)

(a.k.a. FULL CIRCLE)
Article #1755 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-3-2006
Posting Date: 6-2-2006
Directed by Richard Loncraine
Featuring Mia Farrow, Keir Dullea, Tom Conti

A woman who feels guilty about the death of her daughter leaves her husband and moves into an old house. However, the house seems to be haunted by a the spirit of a malevolent little girl.

This movie is based on a novel by Peter Straub, and if anything, the movie makes me interested in the novel. This is not to say that I found the movie itself satisfactory; it’s more to say that it hints at a more complete and intriguing story than the movie itself delivers. Though I can appreciate the attempt of the movie to take a leisurely, thoughtful pace in telling its eerie story, all too often in this case there are scenes which just drag out the running time without really adding much to character development or plot. For example, we know the mother is grieving about the death of her daughter; we don’t need to have her break into tears three times to establish this. There are also scenes that just seem to pad out the running time; the scene of Julia building a house of cards and the one where she traces designs in the carpet don’t really help me to connect with her psyche as much as make me check my watch to see how long it will be before we get back to the story. The second half of the movie is better, largely because the plot finally starts moving at this point. In short, this movie is just too slow-moving to be really effective.

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